November and Mid Term Break Poem Analysis

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'November' By Simon armitage and 'Mid - Term Break' by Seamus Heaney

Mid-Term Break”, by Seamus Heaney, is a free-verse poem that portrays the event in which the speaker, who came back from boarding school, deals with the loss of a younger brother.In this poem there are several important themes such as time, age, family, pain, love and most of all death. This poem takes the audience along on the speaker’s journey to accepting his little brother’s death.

The author used a number of imagery to depict the themes of the poem. In these imageries, Heaney challenges not only the audience’s visual imagery but as well as auditory, olfactory as well as emotional imagery. For example: “Counting bells knelling classes to a close”, “the corpse, stanched” and “candles soothed the bedside.” Throughout the poem, Seamus Heaney only used simile once to compare the coffin to a cot, “He lay in the four foot box as in a cot.” The poem is organised with three lines per stanza in which there are no specific rhythm or rhyme pattern. However the last word in the poem rhymes with the last word in the stanza before.

Seamus Heaney’s choice of words in this poem is what made the poem so special. The phrase “it was a hard blow” and the line about the cooing baby bring certain awkwardness to the poem. Also the word “soothed” brings a certain warm feeling to the poem. However this word is besides words that are associated with mourning and death such as “bedside”, “candles” and “Snowdrops” These choices of words bring the audience on a emotional rollercoaster.

Moreover, the author’s choice of words once more highlighted the last line. Heaney used alliteration, assonance and repetition to add further emphasis on the “four foot box” Which suggests how important this line is to the core of the poem.


The poem 'November' By Simon armitage is about how a man , the speaker, copes with the loss of a family member, not through death but through age. The speaker and a man named...
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